OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial has now been moved to the fall, a federal Manhattan judge has ruled.
The former British socialite had contested the July 12 trial date after she was hit with a superseding indictment in late March.
Maxwell’s lawyers called the government’s timing “obvious tactical gamesmanship” and had said they needed more than just over 3 months to prepare her defense. But prosecutors opposed any delay.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said a “short” postponement of the scheduled July 12 trial was appropriate because federal prosecutors added new charges to the case, and COVID-19 protocols made trial preparation harder.
“The Court concludes that the interests of justice justify granting a short continuance, the judge wrote in her ruling, “Such an adjournment would plainly give the defense team sufficient time to prepare for trial in light of the additional charges contained in the S2 indictment while also ensuring that the trial proceeds without undue delay.”
On March 29, prosecutors unsealed a new indictment charging Maxwell with two more counts of sex trafficking relating to a new accuser.
The new charges claim Maxwell groomed and sex-trafficked a 14-year-old girl for former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein to abuse between 2001 and 2004 at his Palm Beach estate in Florida.
Epstein, a financier, and registered sex offender, was found unresponsive in a cell at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center in August of 2019, while he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
According to the government, the trial is estimated to last about four weeks. Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged madam, at her lawyers’ request, will have to later face a second criminal trial in Manhattan Federal Court after Judge Nathan previously ruled to separate the perjury charges against her from the sexual misconduct case.
Maxwell, 59, is charged with recruiting, grooming, and trafficking girls to be sexually abused by Epstein in the 1990s through 2004 and for lying under oath.
She’s being held at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The case is very high-profile for a number of reasons.
Bill Clinton also reportedly took numerous flights on Epstein’s plane on which wild in-flight orgies were allegedly conducted and despite his denials, was identified by a witness frolicking with “two young girls” on “pedo island” according to an unsealed deposition.
According to the documents by Epstein victim Virginia Guiffre: “I remember asking Jeffrey what’s Bill Clinton doing here kind of thing, and he laughed it off and said ‘well he owes me a favor.”
“He never told me what favors they were,” Guiffre said. “I never knew. I didn’t know if he was serious. It was just a joke . . . He told me a long time ago that everyone owes him favors. They’re all in each other’s pockets.”
Last week, pictures were revealed showing Epstein and Maxwell at the White House with Bill Clinton.